When I was applying for college, there was no doubt in my mind that I would be a history teacher.
I wanted to be able to share passion for history and make a difference in a child’s life just as my teachers did for me.
Unfortunately, while in the process of applying to colleges I was told by an education professional, “If you want to be broke go ahead and become a teacher.”
While this education professional shall remain unnamed, they altered my career path forever.
As I child growing up in the New York City Housing Projects, I didn’t ever want to put myself in a position of living paycheck to paycheck.
Therefore, I decided to pursue another passion of mine in fashion.
Sadly, in today’s day and age many college students are opting out of a teaching career due to pay.
According to schools.nyc.gov, the starting rate for a New York City teacher is $51,650.
So $50,000 is the stated value of an educator who works more than 9 hour a day, whose day doesn’t end when they get home because they have to grade papers and plan lessons.
And on top of that, now many teachers have to consider getting a second job because rent keeps increasing and their student loans are due at the end of the month.
Now, do you still believe our educators are only worth $50,000? Well, I beg to differ as teachers serve a greater role than just educating.
Therefore, the starting pay for a NYC teacher should begin at a rate affordable to the cost of living and receive an annual 5% increase, regardless of the amount of education received.
Our teachers deserve a pay which represents their work, time, and efficiently provides for them.
Here’s three reasons why New York City teachers deserve to get paid more.
The Teacher Who Did More Than Teach
How many people can name a teacher who played an important role in their life? I know I can name a few of my high school teachers who took the time to get to know me and guide me on a path of success.
We tend to assume that teachers are just there to show us how to solve a math problem or to explain how caterpillars transform to a butterfly.
Well, the teachers I have encountered throughout my lifetime served as mentors, protectors, occasional babysitters, and parents.
Teachers invest 60 or more hours a week in a classroom according to The Guardian; which is 60 hours of helping develop a future lawyer, architect, or marketing genius.
Oh, let’s not forget about the times you felt discouraged and your teacher uplifted your spirits. Or the times your english teacher pushed you to pursue a different career. Every teacher serves a purpose in your life, they don’t just teach.
Rent Is Just Too Damn High…
Straight up, living in New York City ain’t cheap. As an NYC resident myself, I know how expensive it is to live a comfortable life or just provide the basic necessities needed to survive.
The cost of living in New York City is approximately 68% more than the national average, which includes the cost of housing, food, and transportation.
The average cost of a two bedroom apartment is about $1,638, $400,000 plus for a basic home, and $116.50 for the requisite metro card, according to smartasset.com.
How can our mentors and bonus guardians survive on a $50,000 pay rate if residents who make more money can’t? We need to fight for a better starting rate so our magnificent educators can continue to stay in the City and teach.
The cost of living in NYC will only continue to push our educators out.
Hey, I May Not Have A Degree But I Make More Than You
Can you name a teacher who makes a gross pay of more than $80,000 a year? Well, I can’t name one. Can you name a retail manager or entrepreneur who makes $80,000 plus a year? Oh honey, I can name a bunch!
My own Starbucks manager gets paid more than my old high school teacher. Many jobs with less schooling receive a higher pay rate than teacher.
Voice actors, dog walkers, radio DJs, and pro skateboarders all make more than teachers according to Rare.
Nowadays you don’t even have to go to school to make six figures. However, teachers need a degree and need additional education to receive more money.
In 2009, the New York Times interviewed Valerie Huff, a math teacher from East High, to discuss her current pay. After about 30 years of teaching, starting with a pay of $11,250 in 1978 by 2009 Ms. Huff finally reached a $100k salary.
It took 30 years of hard work and long hours to achieve this base salary pay. This is the harsh reality for a teacher.
We as a society are saying to all of these teachers, “you do a lot for our kids but we will not pay you what you deserve.”
Well, today we will say, “I appreciate the long hours you spend helping and guiding our children, I appreciate the extra years of schooling you spend to perfect your craft, and I appreciate you deciding to deal with the outrageous cost of living in NYC.”
It’s time to become the protector our teachers have always been for us.